News Roundup: Paving the Way

  • Crystal Mountain owner John Kircher revives the idea of a second gondola to Campbell Basin, which would be around 7,800′ long and closely follow the one time path of an SLI double chair.
  • Vermont shuts down the Hermitage Club for a third time as more lawsuits are filed against the business and its founder.  One by a food service company argues, “The dire financial circumstances facing the defendants compel the plaintiff to press forward with alacrity…the collectible assets of the defendants appear to be dwindling.”
  • The New York City Economic Development Corporation is again studying a gondola to connect Lower Manhattan with a redeveloped Governors Island.
  • With 2,400 cabins headed out the door this year alone, CWA is expanding its production capabilities in Switzerland.  Photos from the factory floor show new cabins bound for Montana, Hawaii and more.
  • Park City’s NPR station reports a chair slid into another chair on the Jupiter lift in January, resulting in an injury, three day closure and now litigation.
  • Approval of Woodward Park City is upheld, paving the way for construction of a fixed-grip quad.
  • The Forest Service tentatively approves Purgatory’s proposed Gelande high-speed lift.
  • A real estate development now under construction includes money for reopening New York’s Big Tupper with up to five lifts.
  • New owners at Owl’s Head, Quebec may spend up to $150 million on new lifts and other improvements.  The mountain currently includes three 1980s-era detachables including the world’s first high-speed quad from Breckenridge.
  • Lift construction season is here!  Thanks to Carleton G. for these photos of Waterville Valley’s new LST T-Bar.

12 thoughts on “News Roundup: Paving the Way

  1. U April 4, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    Such a shame that they chose to use the giant lcd screen on the terminal. It will be such an eyesore, I can’t believe the forrest service would allow such an intrusive billboard in national forrest. It just turns the loading area into a corral for advertisement.


    • Peter Landsman April 5, 2018 / 6:03 am

      One reason Big Sky grew so quickly is it’s not located in a National Forest. The land is private.


    • Doppelmayr FTW April 5, 2018 / 9:10 am

      I think it can be very helpful for guests, showing live weather and wind stats along with ski movies or important announcements

      Liked by 2 people

    • smacpats April 5, 2018 / 4:35 pm

      Hopefully its not as bad as it looks in the picture, it could end up being fine. Stratton had a similar system with really low resolution screens for many years that were actually very helpful, but Intrawest removed them ~2 years ago (after the horrible season), so now I have to fumble with my phone on the chair in the morning to figure out what lifts are open :/

      As long as their isn’t more ads than actual information, it will probably be fine.


  2. Misha Flynn April 5, 2018 / 9:28 am

    Couple of thoughts on the potential 2nd gondola at Crystal.

    -What was the line on the original Campbell Basin SLI? I’d appreciate you showing me the line on the Niehaus map.

    -I think Crystal should replace Chinook with a gondola, but have it end at the Campbell Basin Lodge (Following the old rendezvous lift line). At the current top station of Chinook, they should put a midstation with both loading and unloading. Thoughts, Peter?


    • Peter Landsman April 5, 2018 / 12:14 pm

      Chair 5 originally loaded just above where Chinook does on Skid Road and went all the way up to what is now the Campbell Basin Lodge. A 15 minute ride!

      When Midway Shuttle went in, it was shortened to start near Rainier Express, also built in 1988.

      Rendezvous ran in the same alignment as Forest Queen Express. If the gondola did replace Chinook, it would need to have a much higher capacity than the Rainier gondola. I think your idea is a great one as no one really laps that lift anyways. Loading and unloading in both directions would add some really nice options in both winter and summer. Maybe the six-pack could be used to replace Rex.

      It’s similar to what happened at my new home mountain, Jackson Hole, which once had a Riblet double that ran from the base all the way to Casper Restaurant. After it was removed, a second chairlift was added to create a similar route that took two rides. A decade later and we are back to a one seat ride with a gondola and mid-station that guests love.

      I could talk about Crystal all day. In my opinion the public is voting with its feet for significantly more ski terrain in the Cascades. I hope John tries again for East Peak. The terrain is amazing up there with views of Mt. Rainier above the current trails.

      In this photo you can make out the lift lines of the Mt. Rainier Gondola, old Chair 5, Chinook and more. What a gem of a mountain!


      • Peter Landsman April 5, 2018 / 7:51 pm

        And a two stage gondola wouldn’t even need to turn for the mid-station to be in a perfect spot just above Rex. That would save a little money.


      • John Brickman April 13, 2018 / 10:37 am

        Any thoughts on Kellys Gap Lift? I feel like over the years Crystal mentions it as part of the future but then it disappears from the radar. What is keeping this from being built? Other more pressing improvements like snowmaking/second gondola? So glad we share growing up @ Crystal since you do such a great job of covering this topic. Thank You!


  3. Thomas Jett April 5, 2018 / 9:53 am

    Hey Peter, I’m not sure if you saw this article, but it appears that a few things are happening up in BC:

    1) Jumbo is no longer dead, thanks to a Supreme Court decision.
    2) There’s rumblings at Revelstoke and Panorama about expansion.
    Do you think that you’d be willing to do some more master plan write-ups for BC resorts, and comment on how you think that they might turn out?


    • Peter Landsman April 5, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      I absolutely love skiing in British Columbia and think most people would agree if they tried it over the crowded Colorado and Utah scenes. But locations and numbers are important and right now Colorado does twice the skier visits across six fewer resorts than BC. As much as I like skiing new places, I think investors are justifiably wary of projects like Baldy, Jumbo, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Revelstoke and Valemount no matter how awesome the skiing is. I hesitate to write too much about them when a lot of what’s been dreamed up is never going to happen.


      • Thomas Jett April 5, 2018 / 3:22 pm

        I get that, to a certain extent. Personally, I think that Baldy, Jumbo, and Valemount are going to fail. On the other hand, Panorama doesn’t have really ambitious plans, and Revelstoke is already coming into its role as the leader of the pack in the interior of BC.


  4. Lester May 28, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    I wonder why lift three base ended up where it is. 200-300 yards east and it would be much better placed. Referring to Purgatory.


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